Gentle Hatha Yoga Sequence to Build the Foundations of Yoga

Learning the foundational poses of yoga can feel overwhelming in a fast-paced vinyasa class.

Gentle hatha yoga sequences, on the other hand, are an excellent way to learn these foundational poses while improving your mental and physical health at the same time.

This slow and methodical yoga style helps you dive deeper into each pose, improving your alignment and harnessing the power of your breath.

In this article, we go step by step through a gentle hatha yoga sequence to give you all the tools needed to create your daily personal yoga practice and learn the foundations of yoga.

What is Gentle Hatha Yoga?

Gentle hatha yoga is a variation of traditional hatha yoga focusing on deeper relaxation and therapeutic practices.

Traditionally, all yoga styles originate out of hatha yoga. But in modern times, hatha yoga has formed into its own unique style that primarily consists of more static postures ranging from standing to seated poses.

Gentle hatha yoga classes often have a greater emphasis on meditation, breathing practices, and deep relaxation than other yoga styles. But there is still generally active movement and standing poses to balance things out.

Learn More: What is Hatha Yoga?

What to Expect in a Gentle Hatha Yoga Class

Gentle hatha yoga classes are typically a slower-paced practice in which the teacher guides each student to hold the poses for at least five breaths or up to a few minutes per pose. Hatha yoga classes often focus more on alignment and deep breathing to synchronize body and mind.

Unlike a vinyasa or flow yoga style, gentle hatha yoga classes tend to have more static postures that might not have as many transitions between the poses. But depending on the teacher, a gentle hatha yoga class might look very similar to a gentle yoga flow or a gentle vinyasa class.

10 Minutes Gentle Hatha Yoga Sequence

Tip: Along with the video demonstration showing how to perform the traditional pose, we detail how to use props to make the pose more “gentle” if needed.

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

To start off this gentle hatha yoga sequence, we will begin with a brief seated meditation practice. Settle into any comfortable seated position, gently close your eyes, and begin to focus your awareness on your breath. Let your body and mind settle into the present moment as you transition into your yoga practice.

2. Joint Freeing Series (Pavanmuktasana 1)

Remaining in a seated position, we will begin to wake up the joints with the joint freeing series. Starting with some wrist rotations and finger stretches, we will then transition into some ankle stretches and leg extensions. Waking up each joint one by one helps prepare your body for yoga practice and prevents injury.

3. Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Our first standing yoga pose in this sequence is a forward fold. If you would like a gentler variation, make sure to add a soft bend to your knees to help extend your spine. You can also rest your hands on top of two blocks to provide more support for your body.

4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Roll your spine up into a standing position, and then step one foot back behind you to transition into a triangle pose. Check the alignment of your pelvis before positioning your chest into a full triangle pose. Make sure to use blocks underneath your hand to support your body in this position and avoid over-exertion. Switch onto the opposite side before transitioning to the next pose.

5. Wide Legged Forward Fold Pose (Prasarita Padotanasana)

Slowly transition to a wide-legged forward fold and rest your hands on top of a block between your legs. If you would like more release in your lower back, you can try walking your hands farther ahead of your body to extend your spine into a wide-legged downward-facing dog variation of this pose. Make sure to softly bend your knees if you feel any excess strain in the backs of your legs.

6. Side Lunge Pose (Skandasana)

Keeping your legs in a wide-legged position, slowly bend one knee and transition over into a side lunge pose. Make sure to engage your thighs and core to hold your body up in this pose. You can also use blocks underneath your hands for some additional support as you lower down into this position. Complete this pose on both sides, holding each pose for at least five breaths.

7. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Slowly lower down onto your mat and sit back into a wide-legged child’s pose. If you would like a more restorative variation, you can place a bolster or a rolled-up blanket between your legs to prop up your chest. Try putting your forehead on a block and rocking it from side to side to gently release any tension from your head.

8. Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Push yourself up to a seated position from child’s pose and prepare yourself for the supported fish pose by placing your bolster, a rolled-up blanket, or two blocks behind your back. Then gently lower yourself onto the props, placing sufficient support underneath your entire spine and head to stay comfortable in this supported fish pose. Let your arms release out to the sides to broaden your chest and open your heart.

9. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Keeping your upper body in the same position as the supported fish pose, we will gently transition into a supported reclined bound angle pose. To begin, you can move your feet towards your upper body by placing the bottoms of your feet against each other and letting your knees open out to the sides. Place some blocks or a rolled-up blanket underneath each knee to support your body in this restorative position.

10. Supine Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Slowly transition to lie flat on your mat to prepare for a reclined supine spinal twist. Bend one knee towards your chest and then gently pull it across your body, extending both arms out in line with your shoulders to come into a spinal twist. Use a prop underneath your knee if your knee doesn’t quite reach the ground, making sure to keep both shoulders flat on the mat. Repeat this pose on the opposite side.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Finally, we will shift into a deep relaxation practice in savasana to finish off this gentle hatha yoga sequence. Allow your body and mind to relax in this pose fully. Practice a mental body scan meditation, releasing any tension as your awareness flows along your entire body. Breathe into this experience of deep peace and rest.

How to Create Your Own Gentle Hatha Yoga Sequence

A gentle hatha yoga sequence can be created from an assortment of your favorite yoga poses. The main focus of a gentle hatha yoga class is breath awareness and restoration.

So, in any pose that you do, make sure to support your body with extra props and only move into each pose to around 80% of your total capacity to prevent any injuries.

With regular practice of this gentle hatha yoga sequence, you can gradually begin to expand on the foundations of yoga and incorporate yoga into your daily life.

With one pose at a time, gentle hatha yoga teaches you how to stay centered while engaging in an effortful practice. You can find inner peace no matter what is happening externally, one pose and one breath at a time.

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